Staff Corner - Teaching Pastor Greg Spires
Dream Come True
In February of 2016, the Los Angeles Lakers signed a new player to a one-day contract. Yitzi Teichman had always dreamed of playing for the Lakers. But at 17 years old a tumor was discovered in his brain. It nearly cost him his sight as he endured surgeries and cancer treatment.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation approached Teichman, and he told them he wanted to be a Laker. The Foundation made the arrangements. He signed his contract and held a press conference before the Lakers played against the Charlotte Hornets. He didn’t play in the game, of course, but he participated in the shootaround before the game with the Laker players. He spent time with the team, including Laker great Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers lost to the Hornets. Teichman, though, had lived his dream and became a Los Angeles Laker, if only for a day.
Typically the Lakers recruit their players from the elite players of Division 1 college athletics, professional teams in Europe, and even top high school players. Teichman joined the team, not because of his athletic ability. He joined the team as an expression of the love and kindness of his family, friends, Make-A-Wish, and even the Lakers. He became a Laker because the Lakers wanted to have him on the team to show their support.
Likewise, in ancient times, the people of Israel understood that to be part of God’s Kingdom, there was only one path: Jacob's sons. If a person wanted to be part of the people of God, it was assumed that meant a person would have to be part of Israel.
But what if God decided He could select people for His kingdom from anyone He wanted? What if God, to show His mercy, decided to choose people to be in His kingdom who weren’t only His “people,” that is, Israel?
The Bible tells us that is precisely what God has done. In Romans 9:25-26, the Apostle Paul quotes from Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’ And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”
Sometimes our pride can get the best of us. Over the years of knowing the Lord, we might start to believe that we are part of God’s people because there is something special about us. We would never say it out loud. However, we may start to think that God and His church are well served to have us on His team. We forget that we are part of God’s kingdom because there is something special about God: His love and mercy.
Rest comes from knowing that being part of God's people is entirely initiated by God. It means that all our hopes of future glory and peace with God rest in His hands. It also means that we can let go of the pressure to try and earn God’s favor. Instead, we can enjoy the acceptance He has decided to show us as an act of His love and mercy.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together! This Sunday, we will be seeking God through His Word in Romans 9:14-29.
Praying with you,